San Francisco Police Lieutenant Lyn Tomioka's response when we called her to talk about a proposed statewide ban on the use of mobile phones while bicycling was revealing: an amused chuckle.
Ever circumspect in her public comments, department spokesperson Tomioka wouldn't comment extensively when asked whether the proposed ban would be enforceable in San Francisco, a city with hordes of bicyclists, a great love of personal mobile devices, and a police department struggling to stay on top of violent crime. “I think we just need to wait and see if it's passed,” Tomioka said.
As first reported today in the San Francisco Chronicle, State Sen. Joe Simitian, a Palo Alto Democrat, has proposed extending to cyclists the ban on sending text messages or talking on cell phones while driving. The ban comes as part of legislation beefing up the existing car-related prohibition on using mobile devices, increasing the fines for those offenses to $100.